Quiet Desperation

I've spent most of my life ducking as many social responsibilites as I could get away with. I wasn't interested in friendships, family bonds, relationships. I just didn't understand enough about neuro-typical human behaviour to bother with something I wasn't good at and didn't really want.

Not to say that I don't care about my family. I think they are a wonderful group of people and I love them... just not enough to co-operate with them, or be a functioning member of the household, or sacrifice my own desires for their benefit. And not to say I haven't had friendships... but they were just kind of flaccid affairs in which the other party either tolerated my presence when we were together, or played in close proximity to me like I was a stuffed animal and then left me behind when I wasn't stimulating enough for them. And I've even had a couple of propositions for more-than-friends arrangments... though I've been quick to nip those in the bud, since frankly I am so not relationship material I'd probably put the other party in counseling.

For the most part, I've been satisfied with hanging around the fringes of others' lives. I tolerated family road trips, I went to my classmate's bat-mitzvah parties and weddings without too much fuss, I arranged the occasional meet-up for food or entertainment... it wasn't a big deal. I had, and still have, an intensely active imagination, a voracious hunger for fiction and fantasy, and a rich mental life. I was a child who was happy to be alone, with characters in my head and music in my ears, and I haven't changed much as a young adult.

However, I've recently found myself, for the first time, mourning for something I never really had.

I wonder if this is a product of the developement of my sexual appetite. I don't consider myself particularly sexy, but over the past couple of years I've developed tastes, interests, kinks, that have opened me up to exploration in a way that I never bothered with in high school. I've discovered that my sexual orientation is not as straightforward a matter as I though it would be. (Pun somewhat intended?) I have a sex drive now, a fairly strong one... and I think some part of me recognizes that sexual relations require "relations". The sex I want requires a partner. The very concept is foreign to me.

I am realizing that just as I pushed others away from me in favour of my fantasy world, others rejected me in favour of friends who better suited their needs. I have never been anyone's "best friend". I haven't kept anyone's secrets, understood anyone's inside jokes, dried anyone's tears with my sleeve. I am no one's first choice of companion, no one's go-to person for love or advice... frankly, no one's all that interested in me. And I recognize that all of this I've brought on myself through my own lack of engagement with the people around me. The world is content to leave me on the fringes, and I want to be satisfied with that. Except...

For almost my entire life, I have despised myself. Sometimes, it's painful just to exist, spending every hour of every day with a person who I find abhorrent: myself. I've never considered myself worthy of love or respect. But I know that deep down, I hold onto a little spark of hope that chirps "if this person and that person can stand me, well... I can't be all bad, then. Right?" There is a part of me that is desperate to be reassured that I am not as detestable as I feel. Recently, I've been coming to terms with the fact that if I am ever to have a relationship, I'll have to convince somebody that I'm worth their time. If I am ever to have a "normal" friendship, I'll have to work a lot harder than I want to for something I'm not sure is worth the effort. And most of all, I'll have to convince myself that I truly want those relations, and that I deserve them.

That last bit of hope inside you dissipating, the last illusion of nonchalance dissolving, that last curtain finally lifting and revealing how very alone you are... no other feeling is so isolating, so devastating, and so painful. And I think I'm reaching that point. The point at which I realize how much I've forfeited so that I could avoid having to face my challenges. And I wonder if it was worth it.
Naomi506 Naomi506
1 Response May 21, 2012

Hi Naomi-<br />
I randomly came upon your post and found it pretty compelling. I'm a sociology grad student researching ASD, specifically coping mechanisms when dealing with NTs and people who pass as NT. It kind of sounded like you've had to deal with some of this. NT society and social expectations can be pretty hard to deal with. I think most people, ASD and NT, wish for a companion who's right for them. It's hard even for NTs to find someone who is really compatible. Have you tried looking at some of the books out there written specifically for AS and HFA dating and relationships? They can have some great tips in them. If I'd had something like that 15-20 years ago I feel like my marriage to an aspie would have worked out. As it is, we've just ended up divorced but very close friends. Try not to get discouraged, it'll get easier as you keep trying!<br />
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